Elvis (1968 album)

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NBC-TV Special.jpg
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedDecember 1968 (1968-12)
RecordedJune 20–29, 1968
GenreRock and roll
LabelRCA Victor
ProducerBones Howe, Steve Binder
Elvis Presley chronology
Elvis Sings Flaming Star
From Elvis in Memphis
Singles from Elvis
  1. "If I Can Dream"
    Released: November 5, 1968
  2. "Memories"
    Released: February 25, 1969
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
MusicHound4.5/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone(mixed)[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 stars[4]
Rough Guides4/5 stars[5]

Elvis is a live album by American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley, released by RCA Records in December 1968.[6] It was recorded from his 1968 Elvis special in Burbank, California at Western Recorders on June 20, 21, 22 and 23, 1968, and at NBC Studios (Burbank) on June 27 and 29, 1968. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200. It was certified Gold on July 22, 1969 and Platinum on July 15, 1999 by the RIAA.


The live album from the Elvis special is the audio-only version of the special, and consists of a mixture of studio and live recordings, the live material itself a mixture of "sit-down" tracks with a small group and "stand-up" tracks with an orchestra.[7]

Unlike the drudgery of the feature film soundtrack recordings, Presley was genuinely excited by the project.[8] For the album, the musical format presented Presley in three different settings: production numbers featuring medleys of his material; an informal small band featuring full songs in front of a live audience; and the two original numbers with Presley backed by an orchestra in front of a live audience.[9] The two ballad tracks from this album were issued as singles. "If I Can Dream" being released earlier in the month, backed on the B-side with a song from his movie in theaters at the time, Live a Little, Love a Little, making it a double promotion on one record. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, his highest charting single since 1965.[10] "Memories" was released over two months after the broadcast, backed with the title song to his next film, Charro!.[10] By making it to the top ten on the album chart after his previous album had charted at a dismal #82, this LP resuscitated his recording career at a time when it seemed practically moribund.[11] Presley insisted the mono mixes for these songs were retained for the album.[12]


Several hours of music were recorded for the special, and the unused material has been reissued in many different formats over the years.

  • On August 27, 1991, RCA released an expanded version for compact disc, including unedited versions of the medleys in several cases.
  • Two extensive compact disc releases appeared in 1998, Memories: The '68 Comeback Special featuring more comprehensive versions of the production and orchestral numbers, along with the complete first informal small band show of June 27, and Tiger Man featuring the complete evening show of the two informal small band concerts of June 27, 1968. (Both small band shows would be issued on vinyl as The King in the Ring for Record Store Day 2018.)
  • On August 5, 2008, Legacy released The Complete '68 Comeback Special, a 4-CD compilation of the complete recording sessions for the special. It was later expanded and re-issued as '68 Comeback Special - 50th Anniversary Edition on November 30, 2018, adding new stereo mixes of "Memories" and "If I Can Dream" as well as a bonus disc of sessions and alternate takes and two blu-rays worth of video.

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording date(s)Length
"Guitar Man"
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Reed
June 22, 19683:26
2."Lawdy Miss Clawdy"
"Baby What You Want Me to Do"
"Heartbreak Hotel"
"Hound Dog"
"All Shook Up"
"Can't Help Falling in Love"
"Jailhouse Rock"
"Love Me Tender"
Lloyd Price
Jimmy Reed
Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden, Elvis Presley
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley, George Weiss, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Vera Matson and Elvis Presley
June 27–28, 196814:52
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording date(s)Length
1."Where Could I Go But to the Lord?"
"Up Above My Head"
J. B. Coats
Walter Earl Brown
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
June 20–21, 19687:31
2."Blue Christmas"
"One Night"
Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson
Dave Bartholomew and Pearl King
June 27, 19685:33
3."Memories"Billy Strange and Mac DavisJune 23, 19683:16
"Big Boss Man"
"Guitar Man"
"Little Egypt"
"Guitar Man"
Billy Strange and Mac Davis
Luther Dixon and Al Smith
Jerry Reed
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Jerry Reed
June 20–21, 19686:42
5."If I Can Dream"Walter Earl BrownJune 23, 19683:19

1991 CD reissue[edit]


The Complete '68 Comeback Special[edit]





  • Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998;
  1. ^ Elvis at AllMusic
  2. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 891. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Marcus, Greil (April 19, 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.
  4. ^ "Elvis Presley: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  5. ^ Simpson, Paul (2004). The Rough Guide to Elvis. London: Rough Guides. p. 131. ISBN 1-84353-417-7.
  6. ^ Jorgensen, p. 418
  7. ^ Jorgensen, pp. 248-259.
  8. ^ Jorgensen, p. 248.
  9. ^ Jorgensen, pp. 248-259.
  10. ^ a b Jorgensen, pp. 416-418.
  11. ^ Jorgensen, p. 262.
  12. ^ Jorgensen, p. 262
  13. ^ "American album certifications – Elvis Presley – Elvis". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]